House debates

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

Statements by Members

Biosecurity: Foot-and-Mouth Disease

1:31 pm

Photo of Nola MarinoNola Marino (Forrest, Liberal Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Education) Share this | | Hansard source

Farmers right around Australia are very concerned about foot-and-mouth disease. The government really needs to increase the resources to assist Indonesia to manage foot-and-mouth disease at its source in that country. They need to increase the resources at our border, and I would ask that every passenger and every bit of luggage be checked because every returning passenger is a potential risk.

We heard in a briefing that the government's been relying on a risk based approach to this with incoming passenger cards. We know that not everybody tells the truth on those cards. We saw that with the burger issue in Darwin yesterday. Everyone returning is a potential risk to Australia and our agricultural and regional communities. So I want to see every passenger screened and every bit of luggage checked, along with the other resources we need to put in place to manage this.

How many passengers have actually returned from Indonesia post the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak? How many have actually been screened and had their luggage checked? One positive case, anywhere in Australia, will stop all meat exports for at least two years. That's what we heard. We know that 70 per cent of Australia's livestock production is exported and, certainly, 90 per cent of Western Australia's livestock production is exported. This is very, very serious to our farming and regional communities.